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Practical Advice a question concerning a child’s lovelife

extraterrestrialone

assembled words vs disjointed thought
SF Supporter
#1
An advertisement I saw on tv the other day reminded me about a question I once asked my older son. The ad showed a girl probably in her teens crying, sitting on her bed. Her mother sat beside her trying to cheer her up and help. Apparently the girl’s boyfriend broke up with her. The mother was trying to find ways to make her child happy. (I believe this was a foster child, but for my concerns, that is a different thing. My question only applies to dealing with a child’s lovelife / interests).

My son graduated college a couple years ago. He’s travelled around the world because it has been convenient while studying abroad while in school and then another time when he was invited to a friend’s wedding in Asia. Then he returned to the USA and found employment in his career choice on the other side of the country.

On one of his visits home - which at this point must already be about a year and a half ago at least, I was curious to know if anything of a romantic nature was going on in his life. Except for one very brief girlfriend in high school, there has been no indication of anything. So I asked him if he’d go out for a walk with me because I wanted to talk about things. We did. We talked about assorted things, It was a nice talk and then I told him I wanted to ask him something but that if it was something he’d rather not talk about, he could tell me to shut up. He was ok with being asked. So I asked him if anything was going on with his lovelife. He answered, “shut up”. So I did. He did not seem bothered that I had asked and then we continued back toward home talking about other things.

We never talked about the subject again and happily there has never been any bad feelings about having been asked. He’s kind and caring and we have nice conversations - even if just texting across the country. Still, I don’t want him to end up like me. that’s a fairly long story some here may know bits and pieces of - but I just wish he’s able to find happiness with another person and as I see it, the sooner the better. He’s 26. I don’t want to invade his space, but I do want him to have a happy life. If there is anything I can do to help, I want to do that. If just leaving him alone is the help he needs then, ok, I’ll leave him alone but I just feel that a father can offer some kind of support in this area - even one as inept in love as I am - and I feel as if I’m not giving that help.

I’m hoping someone here - either a parent with the same concerns or a child who has been asked, or wishes s/he had been asked, or is grateful for not having been asked, has some thoughts to share on the subject. Its very important to me and also I have a younger son 19, and I may need to ask - or not - with him also. Thanks for reading...
 

Sunspots

Daydream Believer
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#2
I have a similar situation with my daughter. She's nearly 22 and to my knowledge has never had a boyfriend/girlfriend. She did go on a blind date that her friend organised last year but said it was boring and she had no desire to see him again. I've brought up the subject a couple of times but I can see she doesn't want to talk about it.

I've wondered if she's lesbian or has worries over her gender but I really don't think she'd be afraid to tell me as I've made sure that both my children know I would support them whatever.

She just either isn't interested in relationships or she wants to keep things private and I have learned to respect that. It hasn't been easy as us parents always want to do what we can to help our kids.

I think as long as he knows you're always there to talk if he wants to that's all you can do.
 

johnDoen

Well-Known Member
#3
I'm about 20s in real life so I hope you don't mind.

My love life is nothing. I have never felt in love with anyone nor vice versa. Despite my parents' curiosity, there is nothing I could tell them since I've got anything to tell. It's a bit of embarrassing when they keep asking about whether I have a girlfriend or not (I'm male) but I'm used to it.

Although the question about love life is embarrassing, your son knows you care about him so there is no need to make it a big deal. He just doesn't want to talk about it or maybe he prefers to talk about it with someone else, probably friends. There is nothing wrong about you, so please don't take it personally nor speculate anything.

The answer for your question is really up to your sons' personalities. However, it's important to know that they loves you, even when they don't say it face-to-face.
 

extraterrestrialone

assembled words vs disjointed thought
SF Supporter
#4
I have a similar situation with my daughter. She's nearly 22 and to my knowledge has never had a boyfriend/girlfriend. She did go on a blind date that her friend organised last year but said it was boring and she had no desire to see him again. I've brought up the subject a couple of times but I can see she doesn't want to talk about it.

I've wondered if she's lesbian or has worries over her gender but I really don't think she'd be afraid to tell me as I've made sure that both my children know I would support them whatever.

She just either isn't interested in relationships or she wants to keep things private and I have learned to respect that. It hasn't been easy as us parents always want to do what we can to help our kids.

I think as long as he knows you're always there to talk if he wants to that's all you can do.
yeah, you’re right, but i guess one of my biggest fears is that what troubled me in my life in that respect is what could be troubling him too and that would be a genetic, inherited thing. then as i see it, if that were to be the case, some kind of intervention could be helpful to overcome that disabling quality that he may have inherited from me. of course this is only in theory. upbringing may play in totally or in part or who know? it would just be so comforting if there was a sign that he/they are not needlessly suffering... for now i just keep on hoping...
 

KM76710

SWCA3110-SWHF625
SF Supporter
#5
My mom asked me similar things when I was a young fella because I never hung out with people, had friends or ever had any type of real girlfriend, but she also knew I don't get close emotionally to people, not that I do not like them necessarily just more uncomfortable with others in my life beyond casual hanging out with only one or two people she met. I just told her that yes, I like girls/women but I can not connect with others because I am schizoid and most people I had anything to do with were similar where we find each other, can spend time and then part until the next time.

I have had more than a few individuals during my life say that I am both attracting and comforting while at the same time can be unsettling from something I was involved with decades ago.
 

Sunspots

Daydream Believer
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#6
i guess one of my biggest fears is that what troubled me in my life in that respect is what could be troubling him too and that would be a genetic, inherited thing.
Does he know about what troubled you?
If not, maybe you could try talking to him about it, how it affected you and how you want him to know that if it affects him to that he can always come to you.
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#7
You're a good dad, D. Maybe he hasn't met the right girl yet. I bet he looks but its hatd to get up the nerve to actually ask a girl out. He'll get there. My son is 25 and never went on a date..the other one says girlfriends are too expensive. My daughters, that's a whole different scenario. Maybe boys are slower with this type of thing. I worry some about my 25 year old, but like @johnDoen said, he knows you love him.
 

extraterrestrialone

assembled words vs disjointed thought
SF Supporter
#8
Does he know about what troubled you?
If not, maybe you could try talking to him about it, how it affected you and how you want him to know that if it affects him to that he can always come to you.
fear plays a gigantic role in inhibiting me about this. everyone knows why i was hospitalized yet the why and how etc of it i’ve been unable to discuss with those close. and in recent days, weeks, months i’ve discovered that the issues are way deeper than i was ever previously willing to accept just on my own. and now, how that discovery impacts me has changed as well. seems so odd to have been so insanely troubled all my life without any recollection of anything having happened in my supposedly loving and nurturing family. i only have my sister’s bad experience to use in my own self speculations.

it now is as if i have a massively jumbled mess as the explanation of why all my bad life experience happened when previously it was only a very jumbled mess. yet strangely i’m managing to keep my head above water better than ever - at least in the past many years - and i credit my positive affirmations i’ve been doing since summer - aided by trintellix since october. so maybe this is a step closer to opening up about myself to my family. its still much easier to explain me to strangers than to those who are close. and i think what stops me most is that i often think to myself, “what kind of a rolemodel is a self harming father?”. and i am ashamed of how whatever it was in me all my life through 20s, 30s and beyond is what inhibited my own romantic life and i fear that the same thing could be troubling both my kids as well. i don’t want that for them.
 
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DrownedFishOnFire

Back into the wild where I belong. Out of your way
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#9
I dont talk to my parents about my dating life. They have never met the ex that was with me for 5 years nor I have talked to them about the ex. Why? That person was not a good person and deep down inside I knew it. Did not want this ex around my family whatsoever and I refused to meet the persons family either. So was my own thinking id rather not have my parent worry about my wellbeing. It was more for their peace of mind that I was ok.

However they only have met one person out of plenty. This person today still we keep in touch. I rather have good people around my family. Made me realize years down the line not to waste my time with people I definitely will not bring home to meet my family whatsoever anymore. Life is too short
 

extraterrestrialone

assembled words vs disjointed thought
SF Supporter
#10
You're a good dad, D. Maybe he hasn't met the right girl yet. I bet he looks but its hatd to get up the nerve to actually ask a girl out. He'll get there. My son is 25 and never went on a date..the other one says girlfriends are too expensive. My daughters, that's a whole different scenario. Maybe boys are slower with this type of thing. I worry some about my 25 year old, but like @johnDoen said, he knows you love him.
thanks Lane, my big fear is the genetics of it. but who knows? we do talk about things but often i think its about superficial things or the state of the country or virus or other things. i do hope he realizes that i am someone he can talk to if he needs to talk to someone and that the only reason he has not talked yet, is because he doesn’t need to. you may be right about boys being slower. but thinking back now, i think my father never made it evident that i could talk to him and i do believe i’d have felt very embarrassed and inhibited if i did try to talk to him. so i do still worry about my own kids and their perception of me that might keep them away from helpful talk.
 

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